June 19, 2013
CHICAGO In a potential game changer in the fight against fat, the American Medical Association (AMA) on Tuesday recognized obesity as a disease that requires a variety of medical treatments.
"Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans," AMA board member Patrice Harris, M.D., said in a statement. "The AMA is committed to improving health outcomes and is working to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, which are often linked to obesity."
The resolution could encourage more doctors to recommend that patients eat healthier foods and rely on other tools such as weight-loss supplements to trim down. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), eating healthier foods and engaging in physical activity can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases.
Tuesday's vote also could increase pressure on insurers to cover obesity-related medical treatment and lead to new drugs to fight the disease. According to The Chicago Tribune, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved two prescription weight-loss medications since 1999.
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